SINGAPORE — The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is investigating an incident involving a man caught on camera forcing a lit cigarette into a cat’s mouth.
In response to questions from the media by Yahoo News SingaporeSPCA executive director Aarthi Sankar said Friday (September 16) that the animal welfare group was alerted to the “clear case of abuse” on Tuesday.
“The SPCA is strongly against such acts and strongly advises against smoking around your pets. Pets are at risk of developing blood lymphoma and oral cancer when they ingest toxic particles from a cigarettes,” she added.
When exposed to smoke, animals’ soft tissues can become inflamed in their trachea and upper airways, causing swelling and blockage of the airways that can lead to suffocation or death, Aarthi added. The trachea refers to the tube that connects an animal’s larynx to its lungs.
Cigarette smoke can also trigger asthma flare-ups in cats, causing difficulty breathing and chronic coughing.
A short snippet of the incident was posted on Sgfollowsall’s Instagram page on September 11. The clip, a repost of an Instagram story by user sudharshanann, shows a man wearing a red t-shirt with his mask pulled down to his chin approaching a cat resting on a ledge on an empty deck.
He put a lit cigarette near the cat, which responded by sniffing it and walking away. The man held the cat as it hissed and tried to force the cigarette into its mouth.
Members of the public with information about the case can contact the SPCA on 6287 5355 or Inspector@spca.org.sg, which will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Yahoo News Singapore also contacted the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS), a unit of the National Parks Board regarding the incident.
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